Samsung is simply killing it when it comes to the global smartphone market share and they aim to take the same route for tablets as well. Apple still very much has the upper hand when it comes to the tablet market and even though Samsung has had some success in the past with tablets like the Note 10.1, the overall Android tablet segment hasn’t really taken off the way smartphones have. Whether that changes or not this year remains to be seen, but what we know is that Samsung is pulling out all the stops. The newly announced, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 or 510 should be hitting store shelves by the end of March and the only real competitor in its sights is the Apple iPad mini. Let’s take a quick look at both these tablets and see how they stack up in a grudge match.

Samsung Galaxy Note 510
Let’s start with the Note 510. Samsung has had a 7-inch, 7.7-inch and a 10.1-inch tablet in the past which makes the Tab 510 their first 8-inch tablet. Its quite evident that they are after the iPad mini’s market share since this form factor seems to be doing quite well as it offers the best compromise between a smartphone and a full-blown tablet. From whatever time we got to spend with it at the Samsung Forum in Hyderabad, we found the build quality to be quite solid despite it being mostly plastic. The tablet has a decently high resolution, enough to not notice too much pixilation when used from the normal distance.

The challenger

The challenger

The display is quite vibrant for a TFT panel and has good colour reproduction. The buttons are quite easily accessible and the Note 510 is fairly light as compared to its smaller sibling, the Tab 2 310. Samsung has also added an IR blaster, which makes the 510 double up as your remote too. This being a descendant of the Note family, S Pen tags along for the ride as well. Just in case the Note II wasn’t awkward enough to talk on, you can slap this to your face as well as the Note 510 packs in a full-fledged earpiece for voice calls. 

Apple iPad mini
We really loved the idea of a smaller iPad and Apple managed to pull that off very well with the mini. It might not have the gorgeous Retina screen (yet) or the fastest SoC in the family but it’s main attraction is the form factor and how freakishly light it feels in your hand. The slim nature of the tablet also makes it a lot more convenient to carry around.

The best 8-incher avialable right now

The best 8-incher available right now

The mini is powered by a modest dual-core SoC from the iPad 2 along with the same resolution. This is probably one of the only sore points of the mini that should be addressed in the upcoming refresh. Other than that, the mini offers the same experience as its larger siblings while being easy on the wallet.

It’s time to see which one offers better value on paper.

The Note 510 is quite impressive on paper

The Note 510 is quite impressive on paper

The bottom line
If we go purely by specifications alone, the Galaxy Note 510 is far superior to the iPad mini. It has a higher resolution screen, has a more powerful SoC, more RAM, expandable storage, S Pen stylus and better media playback support out-of-the-box. The success or failure of the Note 510 will entirely depend on the pricing, which hasn’t been disclosed yet. The 16GB iPad mini with 3G retails for around the Rs.30,000 mark so our guess is that the Note 510 will be priced around this figure. Samsung can choose to price it more than Apple’s offering since it has more to offer or they could go really aggressive and price it between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000.
We’ll be bringing you the full review of the Note 510 shortly so stay tuned.

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